Releasing their first three albums – ‘Rattus Norvegicus’, ‘No More Heroes’ and ‘Black And White’ – within 13 months of each other and scoring hit singles with the likes of ‘Peaches’, ‘Something Better Change’ and, of course, the track ‘No More Heroes’ itself, The Stranglers quickly trademarked their sound; a swirling, heady concoction of psychedelic keyboards, growling vocals, hard-edged bass and an almost jazz-like drum sound.
But it was their attitude to the music press that really set them apart. Accused of being both sexist and racist by critics who didn’t see the patent absurdity and sarcasm in their lyrics, The Stranglers chose the path of most resistance and went to war. Notorious spats included punching the journalist Jon Savage at a public event, leaving another journalist strapped to a wheelchair in Reykjavik airport while his plane departed and gaffer-taping a third writer to a girder on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower with his trousers round his ankles. The list of misdemeanors is endless.
While these ‘japes’ hardly endeared them to the press, they didn’t harm the band’s popularity as they racked up more and more hit singles and broke box-office records including the most consecutive nights played at London’s Roundhouse, beating records set by the Rolling Stones and The Who. So it was no surprise that the 80’s saw The Stranglers spring to even greater heights of commercial success all around the world with the likes of ‘Golden Brown’, ‘Strange Little Girl’, ‘Always The Sun’ and ‘European Female’, amongst many others.
Having released their 17th studio album in 2012, ‘Giants’, to across the board critical acclaim from their once-loathed adversaries in the press, The Stranglers are now revered as one of the most exciting, credible and influential bands to have emerged from the British new wave scene. Proof that the original meninblack, The Stranglers, are as essential today as at any time in the last four decades… and showing that they do indeed laugh longest and loudest.